Gabon Coup Leader to Be Inaugurated as Transitional President Today 
Home News Gabon Coup Leader to Be Inaugurated as Transitional President Today 
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Gabon Coup Leader to Be Inaugurated as Transitional President Today 

General Brice Oligui Nguema, who leads the elite Republican Guard, orchestrated a military coup on Wednesday in Gabon, overthrowing President Ali Bongo Ondimba. Bongo who came from a family that had ruled for more than five decades experienced this dramatic power shift which happened shortly after he, aged 64, was declared the winner of last month’s presidential election, an outcome that the opposition claimed was fraudulent.

Notably, the coup was carried out without any loss of life or injuries, earning it the label of a “bloodless” takeover, according to General Oligui.

Oligui’s promised election

The Gabon coup leaders announced the dissolution of the nation’s institutions, the nullification of the election results, and the closure of the borders. Subsequently, they reversed their decision to reopen the borders. However, many other countries have not recognized Oligui as Gabon’s legitimate leader. He is now under pressure to clarify his strategy for reinstating civilian governance.

Following the coup announcement, Oligui was jubilantly lifted by his troops and in the days since was frequently seen alongside generals and colonels.

He has repeated his commitment to arrange “free, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections,” although he has not provided a specific timeframe for these elections. He emphasized that a new constitution must be adopted through a referendum before this can happen.

On Friday, he pledged to establish more democratic institutions that uphold human rights but emphasized a deliberate and measured approach to the process.

Western nations expressed their concern

While a fringe faction of the former opposition is pressuring Oligui to relinquish power, a significant portion of the Gabonese population appears to welcome the removal of the Bongo dynasty. This sentiment has manifested in jubilant street celebrations in both the capital city, Libreville, and the economic hub of Port-Gentil.

Several Western nations and international organizations have denounced the coup, but they also acknowledge its distinctiveness compared to other African coups. This uniqueness stems from the concerns surrounding the credibility of the election itself.

Chief Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy said Naturally, military coups are not the solution, but we must not forget that in Gabon there had been elections full of irregularities.”

Bongo’s call for help

Former President Bongo had been aiming for a third term in office, initially assuming power in 2009 following the passing of his father, Omar, who had ruled Gabon with an iron grip for over four decades.

The coup leaders, on Wednesday, asserted that they had placed him under house arrest and essentially retired him from politics. However, Bongo managed to share a video on social media in which he claimed that his son and wife, Sylvia, had been detained. He made an emotional appeal for international support.

On Friday, the national television broadcasted visuals of the ousted president’s son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and other detained officials standing before suitcases purportedly filled with confiscated cash from their residences. The military has leveled charges against them, including treason, embezzlement, corruption, and the falsification of the president’s signature, among other allegations.

Coups in other African countries 

Over the past three years, five other African nations, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Niger, have experienced a coup, and their newly established leaders have been reluctant to comply with requests for a swift return to military barracks.

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